Drivers should stop after a crash and work together to file a police report. The requirement to stop is one of the most important obligations following a motor vehicle collision in New Jersey. If you notice that you clipped another vehicle, struck a pedestrian or otherwise may have caused property damage or injury to a person, state law requires that you stop.
You may need to exchange insurance information with the other party involved or call for emergency services because they require medical care. Unfortunately, not everyone will comply with the requirement to stop after causing a collision. Some people truly don’t notice when a crash occurs, possibly because they are distracted at the wheel. Other people might intentionally flee the scene of a crash to avoid an arrest or financial liability.
What rights do you have after a hit-and-run crash caused by a driver who didn’t stop?
The right to a police investigation
Although a hit-and-run offense may not be the top priority for local law enforcement officers, they should still properly investigate. Looking into the situation and attempting to identify the other driver is very important for you as the person hurt in that crash.
Witness statements, traffic camera footage and records from local body shops can all play a role in tracking down the person who caused the wreck. If the police successfully find the driver who hit you, you can either file a claim against their insurance or possibly take them to civil court.
You have a right to insurance coverage, if it applies
Technically, you only need basic liability coverage to legally drive, but that coverage won’t do much to protect you from the true consequences of a wreck. If you are one of the thousands of New Jersey drivers who carry extra insurance coverage, you can make a claim against your own policy.
Collision coverage or uninsured motorist protection can pay for your expenses after a hit-and-run crash. When you are unable to find the other driver to make a claim against their policy, your insurance may help, but only if you have supplemental coverage. Your liability coverage will not protect you from a crash with a driver that you cannot identify.
Learning more about your rights after a hit-and-run collision and the protections available to you can help you better respond when you get hurt in a wreck.